Tuesday November 22, 2022 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Wednesday December 7 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2 / PBS Video App
Over a career spanning six decades, Cree musician, artist and activist Buffy Sainte-Marie has used her platform to campaign for women’s and Indigenous rights and has inspired generations of musicians, artists and activists. . Following a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022, AMERICAN MASTERS “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On” will have its national premiere in honor of Native American Heritage Month.
AMERICAN MASTERS: Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On: preview
Directed by Madison Thomas, the film chronicles Sainte-Marie’s rise to New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene through her groundbreaking career, featuring interviews with Joni Mitchell (singer, songwriter, artist), Sonia Manzano (Maria on SESAME STREET), John Kay (Steppenwolf Lead Singer-Songwriter, Solo Artist), Robbie Robertson (Musician), Jackson Browne (Musician), George Stroumboulopoulos (Music Journalist), Andrea Warner (Author) and more.
Sainte-Marie’s career took off when she received rave reviews in the New York Times and caught the attention of Vanguard Records, which released her debut album, “It’s My Way.” Constantly recognized as being ahead of her time, Sainte-Marie’s music reveals her most sincere opinions that set her apart from other female pop musicians of the 1960s.
When Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the “first feminist anthem”
Early in her career, she spoke out against the Vietnam War with her song “Universal Soldier,” against readily available opioids with “Cod’ine,” and shared her perspective on romance with “Until It’s Time.” for You to Go”, which was picked up. by artists like Elvis, Barbra Streisand, Cher and Neil Diamond.
The origins of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier”
Sainte-Marie has changed the perceptions of Indigenous peoples in music, film and television. When she was approached to play a lead role in a 1968 episode of “The Virginian,” she requested that all Native roles be played by Native people. Additionally, during her five-year stint on SESAME STREET, she was the first female nurse on television, and she helped create segments based on her experiences as an Indigenous woman in North America.
Buffy Sainte-Marie brought Indigenous representation to television
After winning the Oscar for writing “Up Where We Belong” from “An Officer and a Gentleman” with then-husband Jack Nitzsche, Saint-Marie stepped out of the spotlight.
How Buffy Sainte-Marie won an Oscar for ‘Up Where We Belong’
She returned to music after a fourteen-year hiatus with her critically acclaimed album “Coincidence and Likely Stories”. In 2015, she beat Drake for the Polaris Music Prize for her album “Power in the Blood”.
At the age of 81, Sainte-Marie actively tours and continues to be an activist for Indigenous rights, including championing efforts to end oppression and violence against Indigenous women.
READ: Buffy Sainte-Marie’s must-have playlist
Watch at your own pace:
AMERICAN MASTERS is available for concurrent streaming on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
An Ontario-Manitoba co-production. A production of Eagle Vision, White Pine and Paquin Entertainment Pictures in association with American Masters Pictures and Vision Maker Media. Directed by Madison Thomas. Written by Madison Thomas and Andrea Warner. Lisa Meeches, Kyle Irving, Rebecca Gibson, Peter Raymont, Steve Ord, Andrew Munger, Gilles Paquin, Ray Halbritter, Randy Lennox, Michael Kantor and Francene J. Blythe-Lewis serve as executive producers. Lisa Meeches and Stephen Paniccia are the producers. Michael Kantor is executive producer for AMERICAN MASTERS.